How HDFC Bank uses Strategy to Sue Saving Account Customers

Long back i was in search of a good private bank that provides reliable services and good customer relation. So after several reviews and suggestions from experts i decided to go with HDFC due to its reasonable Quarterly Average Balance which is INR5000. HDFC provides almost all the features of a good end bank with many benefits and security but today everything changed up down when i was checking my online statement and found something like AQB SER CHGS INC ST & CESS APR-JUN2010 with a Debit of  INR827.25. A simple Google search explained me that it is nothing but a fee for not maintaining an Average Quarterly Minimum balance.

I am very concerned about maintaining the records and managing the finance. I always stick to use and get addicted using my online bank accounts but then i am still not able to get an idea of why HDFC would charge me INR827.25 even though i take care to maintain my minimum balance always. But then some consumer and complaint forums had the answer. HDFC has changed their AQB from INR5000 to INR10,000. So by this way a bank customer gets to know about the change in Banking Policy and that too very critical important information like change in AQB.

HDFC Bank does a the following:

  • Calls a Customer every occasion to inform about new offers, car loans, free credit card, insurance
  • Sends ATM pin no via First class Indian Courier Company
  • Asks to Fill a form for Third Party Fund Transfer
  • Even sends a Representative to customers house for opening a new current account

But things like change in the AQB is not a critical matter of information right ? Why should we inform our customers, let us post a small snippet of information in the very corner of website in between promotional offers so customers might not be aware of it and we can charge them because they are weak in math.

Finally i had to call HDFC Phone banking service. It is a big puzzle game to play, you have to find the right option to connect a phone banker, if you click any other option then you end up with a single choice PRESS ZERO to QUIT.  Seriously i do not know how i won this game, the phone banker is on line and i told him the whole situation. The kind hearted person at the other end tells me that my AQB is INR10,000 not INR5000. So i asked him all the questions you would ask if you were in my shoes, She told me that “they had mentioned about the change in the footer of the January Bank Statement” and even sent a private letter informing it. I don’t get statements becoz i opted for E-Statements nor did i got one private letter.

As you very well know E-Statements are attached PDFs with password protection. I used to check my E-Statements but there is no mention of it except the covering letter of some two months Email statement which has a four line information of change in AQB without any highlighting. The Email they send you is a big one with a lot of commercial offers listed in the first place and important information in the middle. Would someone care to read an email with 1500 words or just check the attached statement ?

I have a saving account and a current account with HDFC. Now my final decision would be to close it, never mind if they waive me of the fine. Your comments and critics are really appreciated !